Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Posted on July 30th, 2011 by Jean

The girls and I wanted to do something special for hubby’s birthday, so when I saw these adorable Angry Bird cake pops, I knew we had to (attempt to) make them. Tom is a huge Angry Birds fan.

A few days before his birthday, we went to JoAnne’s Fabric & Crafts to buy lollipop sticks and meltable candies. We also found candy eyes, reasonably priced, and overpriced beaks which we nixed. At the check-out, the friendly cashier recommended a cake-pop tray. Sounded ultra-easy to use, so we bought it too.
Birthday eve we began baking. We whipped the chocolate cake mix, poured it into the mold, and popped it into the oven. Ten minutes later, we inserted the lollipop sticks, and returned the pops to the oven to finish baking.
Baked and cooled, it was time to pop the pops out of the mold.
Mistake – the cake balls slid down the lollipop sticks. Speared birds wasn’t the effect we wanted.
We baked another batch of birds, and began melting the colorful candies to coat the cooled ones. We stuck eyes on while the candy-coating was gooey, then sat the birds in the freezer to harden. We frosted orange beaks on upon removing the birds from the freezer.
There was enough cake batter left over to bake a single-layer round, and we frosted it green to represent a grassy hill. We were ready to surprise Tom, and surprised he was!

I’m not a baker by any means, but it sure was fun attempting these.
• What themed cake would you make?
• Do you have any cake ball tips?
• Play much Angry Birds?

My Favorite iPhone Apps

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by Jean

You can get the iPhone 3GS for $49.00, which I what I recently did. The monthly service plan is actually $20 less than what I was paying on the original iPhone 2G ($40 compared to $60). Upgrades between the 2G and 3G include recording video and texting photos.
What’s the first thing I did when I received my new phone? Started downloading apps!
My Favorite Apps
When I have some down time, I visit Facebook to see what is up with all of my friends. It’s easy to add a photo or a location like I did when I was chowing down at In-N-Out Burger (pre-diet).
Yes, I’m digging being the Mayor of McDonalds. This app allows you to check in to local businesses, become Mayor, and take advantage of special offers. Newbie (first check-in) Specials include $2. off Arby’s Market Fresh sandwich and 20% off at RadioShack. You can opt out of FB/Twitter sharing if you’d like, meaning you don’t have to broadcast your whereabouts.
Hipstamatic really should have a post all to itself. It’s a cool photo filter program that helps you create amazingly fun photos. A few filters come with the app, and additional filters can be purchased.

The top game for me and my entire family would be Angry Birds. All of the versions. Free, upgraded, Seasons, Rio… they are all great. Rio just released an update, and has several updates scheduled. This newest update includes a Beach Volleyball level.

This app notifies you when there’s a sale on airfare. Tell the app which airport you fly out of, and it will send you great deals. Last year we flew to Sacramento for under $40 per person.
Want to know the latest about Arnold & Maria? TMZ is the app for celebrity news. You’ve heard of TMZ. They were the first to report Michael Jackson died, and the first to release photos of Rihanna. They provided pics of Tiger Woods’ smashed SUV. If you can’t pick up an Enquirer, download TMZ.
Hypnotic mind-play. Waiting in the doctor’s office? Play Bejeweled. Hubby watching football? Play Bejeweled. Kids want supervision in the shower? Play Bejeweled.
Kids, yes, I’ve got ’em. Sometimes they need to keep themselves busy like when we’re waiting on food at a restaurant, or waiting for the fireworks to start while camped out across the river from Laughlin. You will need apps for them too.
Kids’ Favorite Apps
Burp, Fart, Relief. Totally disgusting, just what kids like. Many foul burps, farts, sighs and screams from which to choose.
With the addition of the new Charlie character who has tiger’s blood, the pygmies survival rate decreases even more. You are the Pocket God, controlling the fate of the little island pygmies. You can strike them with lightening, have ants attack them, throw them in the volcano, drop them into the ocean and spear them. You can give them fish and coconuts, help them start a fire, show them a double rainbow across the sky. Good or bad, it’s up to you. Err, up to your kids, I mean!
Yes, you’ll want to take the phone away and compete with them on this app too. Jumping from platform to platform, avoiding aliens, grabbing a jet pack, it’s all fun!
Sometimes they just want to be mellow, coloring pictures. This is the app for that. They choose a scene and color it by tapping first a colored pencil and then the area of the screen to fill. Once all the white space is filled, a party horn plays.
Your app store is right on your iPhone, or you can visit the app store on iTunes.
What are your favorite apps?

Special Guest: The Mama Mary Show

Posted on October 21st, 2010 by Jean

It’s an exciting day here as I host my first Guest Blogger. Please help me welcome Mary of The Mama Mary Show! From the minute I stepped foot (virtually) into her world, I knew Mary had “it”. She’s entertaining, charming, professional and beautiful. Watching her vlogs, I feel like I’m catching up with a good friend. Enough of my intro. Let’s get to the good stuff! ~ Jean

Everyone’s A Winner
The year I turned twenty-one I went to Las Vegas at least eight times. I was in the middle of my junior year at the University of California at Santa Barbara so Vegas was only a short drive, and really the optimum place to celebrate one’s entry into official adulthood. Once I got a taste of the bright lights and a hankering for doubling down, there was no stoppin’ me.
My best memory of Vegas that year was a trip I took with my three besties, Amy, Brandy and Lori. We stayed at the illustrious Circus Circus hotel where $2.00 Black Jack tables were a highly sought after commodity rather than a thing of the past (pretty sure the $2.00 tables can’t be found nowadays).
Once we found a $2.00 table that could accommodate all four of us, we bellied up, antied up and settled in. The dealer and our fellow table mates could tell that we were newbies so they were very forthcoming with the “understood” rules of when to hit and when to stay. If you’ve played Blackjack before than you are probably aware of the dirty glares and eye rolls you get if you don’t “let the dealer bust.” We quickly caught on, and after a few hands of watching the dealer hit a twelve with a ten and begin stacking chips in front of us, we got the hang of it. Shortly thereafter, my friend Amy remembered a phrase taught to her by her favorite aunt.
The phrase is “Everyone’s a winner!” She taught us the very specific inflection and cadence with which it must be uttered (see video below) and we then taught it to everyone else at our table (to give the phrase its true magic, the key is to not only say it with the required rhythm, but it also must be said in unison by EVERY player at the table).
Luckily our tablemates were game, so to speak, and began chiming in with us every time the dealer would bust. “Everyone’s a winner!” we exclaimed, time and time again. Soon the pit bosses were gathered around and we had nearby tables joining in on our jovial cheer.
At some point I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom (you know, free cocktails and all). When I returned to the table I found seven empty chairs, no dealer and a black tablecover indicating the table to be closed. It was a Twilight Zone moment for me as I looked around for my friends and tried to retrace my steps back to the bathroom in case I had gotten turned around (casinos have that way about them). But after due investigation, I was certain that my friends had been hauled off to the Vegas black market and I had some splainin’ to do to our parents.

Minor panic began to set in, until one of my girlfriends sauntered over and grabbed me by the arm. “They moved us to a different table,” she explained as she pulled me in a different direction.
Apparently our table had been making quite the scene, in a good way, so the “house” moved us to a more visible, high-profile table. Our chanting-infused good luck continued at the new table and we were all able to walk away from the night winners.
Since that night I have introduced everyone and anyone I have ever met at a blackjack table to the cheer and though I have never been as lucky as that first night (who is?), my gambling experiences are always a blast (albeit annoying to the more serious game playas who should be playing at higher stakes tables anyway).
What about you? Do you have any traditions or good luck charms when you’re gambling? I highly recommend the “Everyone’s a winner” cheer for you and your table. It’s fun for the whole casino!
Check out the video below for a brief tutorial.